Buffalo Cauliflower

What’s that? Another recipe from Half Baked Harvest’s “Super Simple” cookbook? Why, sure! One thing that happens when you can’t go to bars (especially during a time like March Madness) is you start to crave bar food. One thing I’ve really been craving: buffalo wings. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for buffalo’d veggies, but this is the one that best satisfied my cravings. I’m not saying it tastes like chicken – not even close – but it’s got the flavor, the crunch…everything you really want in a bar snack. And bonus: it ain’t messy.

Sauced up/breaded – before going in the oven

Start by making your sauce. Mix a 1:1 ratio of olive oil and buffalo sauce (eg, Frank’s). Whisk in smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Toss with cauliflower florets. (Note: I used one head of cauliflower and left the florets large. I used 1/4 c. each of the olive oil and buff sauce and eyeballed the seasonings.) Next, dredge each floret in a mix of panko and grated parmesan. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. I baked on a silpat and it worked perfectly. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven, top with shredded cheddar, and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve with store-bought blue cheese (like I did) or homemade ranch (like the recipe suggests).

I absolutely loved how this came out. I think because I cooked it on a silpat, the shredded cheese that fell in between the florets got extra crispy and still stuck to the cauliflower itself. It meant that there was some crunch there, just like you want when you order your wings extra crispy, as I always do. There was a nice kick to this, but I could have added just a bit more hit with by increasing the oil to buffalo sauce ratio or by adding in a pinch of cayenne.